A tale of two feeders and bluebirds

Bluebirds joined us for breakfast this morning … not at the table, but outside at the feeder … the new feeder that comes with a tale.

Bluebirds waiting their turn at the suet.

Bluebirds waiting their turn at the suet.

The pole – complete with squirrel baffle – upon which the new feeder rests, spent years in a front yard garden holding a different wooden feeder where winter birds visited for a cold-weather snack. It stood in a spot far enough from trees to keep leaping squirrels away, but too far for us to easily watch its visitors from the house. Its location made it difficult to fill during times of deep snow, and it was near an area of the yard where we found bear tracks and scat. (I’m convinced that my use of thistle seed, instead of sunflower seed, is what kept any bear from trashing the feeder.)

Last autumn I decided to move the pole feeder into the fenced back yard where we could easily watch it from a nearby breakfast nook; a spot also far enough from the house and trees to keep leaping squirrels at bay. After positioning the pole for optimal viewing from inside, I planned to remount the original wooded feeder  – which had become covered with moss and oozed old-world charm – to a new board to accommodate hanging the three suet feeders.

Much to my disappointment, moisture and moss had so softened the wood of the old feeder that it nearly fell apart when I removed it from atop the pole. Not ready to say good by to the aged feeder and its tales of winters past, of blizzards and ice storms, of generations of birds that visited to feed on its contents, I hung it in a new spot where it is less taxed by its life’s work, and is still visited by an occasional bird.

Old, weathered bird feeder

Old, weathered bird feeder

The quest began for a new wooden feeder that could begin to weather into the charming progeny of the old one … and here it rests, attracting birds to within our view.

Bluebirds sharing suet.

Bluebirds sharing suet.

It’s fresh and new, and does a great job of enticing all kinds of winter birds. So far we’ve seen pairs of downy and hairy woodpeckers, a red-bellied woodpecker and a yellow-bellied sapsucker, juncos, chickadees, nuthatches, mourning doves, a pair of cardinals, blue jays, an adorable little winter wren, and now bluebirds.

Bluebirds, woodpecker, juncos at a feeding station.

Bluebirds, woodpecker, juncos at a feeding station.

With time this feeder will weather through winter storms; its wood will darken with the dust of years gone by and age from generations of birds stopping to partake of its contents. It may even mature with the same old-world charm of its predecessor and, after years gone by, whisper a tale of the morning bluebirds stopped by for breakfast … and life goes on.

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3 comments for “A tale of two feeders and bluebirds

  1. January 11, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    It is quite wonderful how you have reached out a helping hand.

  2. Jim
    February 11, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Oh my gosh, look at those beautiful bluebirds! How lucky you are to have such visitors. I’ve never seen one in my Hamden yard.

    • February 11, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      Jim, we have a lot of woods surrounding our home, which gives bluebirds nesting areas. I also plant native berry plants they seem to like. Bluebirds only visit the suet when there’s significant snow cover.

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